Fife Flyers: defenceman Simon Fernholm flies home as club leave door open
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His hopes of getting back on to the ice and playing regularly have now been put on hold indefinitely as he struggles to overcome the legacy of head injuries.
The experienced defenceman has now returned home to Sweden to be with his family, as Fife placed him on the long-term injury reserve, leaving the door open to a possible return.
Fernholm was a big signing in summer, and seen as one of the key components in a new-look blue line. The 28-year-old from Stockholm was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL before pursuing a career in Swedish hockey.
His fresh start with Fife has, to date, yielded just one weekend of competitive action.
Todd Dutiaume, head coach, hopes the return home will give the player a boost.
“We all play this sport because we love it,” he said. “You never want to see someone out injured.”
The move came after the coaching staff spoke with the player.
Dutiaume said: “We were dealt a blow losing him pre-season and he was out for a month. He came back for one weekend, but did not respond well.
“We spoke with Simon and it was decided that the best thing for him was to return home to be with his family and to get any medical treatment from people he is used to.
“We will stay in touch with him.”
While Fernholm was still very much part of the team while out injured, he had to sit in the stands and watch from afar - and that can he tough.
Dutiaume explained: “Players are here from other countries and when you are hurt you can feel isolated - it isn’t intentional, but you are apart from your team mates.“They go training, playing, working and laughing together, and you are in with the physio doing your own exercises. You run a parallel existence.
“If you have your family here that can help, but if you are apart from them it can be much tougher.”
Flyers face Belfast Giants on home ice on Saturday, and then a road trip to Manchester Storm on Sunday.
They took three out of four points from last weekend, and Dutiaume wants to see that momentum maintained.
He also has a score to settle with Storm after they chalked up a 5-1 win on Fife ice back in September.
“We want that one back,” he said. “